I’ve tried the seitan recipes in all of the most popular vegan cookbooks and they have all come out awful. By awful, I don’t mean just kinda not that great. I mean, what I ended up with was slimy, disgusting garbage that I threw in the trash. I guess it might’ve been me, maybe I just don’t like boiled seitan. Even when I tried to fry it up after the fact it was always super gross.
So I kinda gave up on making seitan, since I like tofu better anyways. But I still had the bag of Vital Wheat Gluten that I bought sitting around, and when I ran out of tofu this week, I decided to experiment with just baking the seitan and not boiling it at all, since the main thing that made the seitan I cooked in the past so yucky was how waterlogged it was.
I’m happy to say it worked! While this seitan still isn’t quite as mouthwatering as the “mock duck” kind you can get in a can, it’s pretty damn good and works well in stir fries and in stuff like the curry recipe I posted yesterday.
Note: This recipe calls for Vital Wheat Gluten, which can be hard to find even in the US, but is really impossible to find here in the UK. I actually brought my bag home from one of my trips to America. However, if you are in the UK and you live near a big Whole Foods (like the one in Kensington… probably not the one in Piccadilly Circus), I think that they do stock it. Otherwise, you can find it here on amazon.
This recipe is adapted from this one I found on vegweb.
Basic Seitan (non sucky)
Makes 6 cutlets
- 1 Cup Vital Wheat Gluten
- 3 TBSP Nutritional Yeast
- 1 tsp Oregano or herb of your choice
- 1.5 TBSP Soy Sauce
- 1/2 cup Vegetable Broth
Pre-heat the oven to 190 c / 375 f.
In a mixing bowl, combine the vital wheat gluten, nutritional yeast, and oregano. In a separate smaller bowl, combine the soy sauce and vegetable broth. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry mixture and knead the dough with your hands. Continue kneading until the dough won’t absorb any more flour – about 10 minutes or so. For me, there was still a bit of flour left in the bowl.
On a floured surface (I did it on my cutting board), use a rolling pin to roll out the dough as thin as you can. It is very stretchy, so it might not get that thin, just do your best to get it into a rectangle shape. Using a very sharp knife, cut it into 6 equal pieces (I did it by cutting the dough in half widthwise and then cutting it into thirds lengthwise).
Put the cutlets on an oiled cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Using a spatula, flip them over and bake for another ten minutes, until they are browned and look crispy. They should puff up quite a lot, when you take them out the oven you may want to cut them in half again.
Add to stir fries or eat with ketchup or whatever else you like.
The great thing about this recipe is how flexible it is, I’m going to try it with other herbs and flavors to come up with other versions of it.